Monday, June 20, 2011

Ghost in the Machine

Father's day. I was stuck at the healing place, making it a "holiday routine" day - all of us on duty Sunday were dads.

I was kicking it, doing some editing while watching a movie in the day room. My phone went off, the text alert letting me know that someone has sent me a text. I dug the phone out of my pocket to see who it was.

The lcd display said that it was E, a friend and co-worker who I had not heard from for over a year and a half. I was very surprised, for E had passed away over a year ago. As I hadn't received another message or call from E's phone since the funeral, I assumed that the account was closed. I kept the contact as I think of E almost every day and I just don't want to delete it.

After my surprise wore off, I figured that it must have been E's wife and I opened the message. It simply said "Happy Father's Day".

I replied, still thinking it was E's wife: "Thnx, funny, I was just thinking about u. U seeing your dad 2day?

"I wish" was the reply.

I instantly realized that the sender of the message was not E's wife, but his son, who is now12 or so. Oops.

"Sorry Lad,  I thought u were ur mom"

"Ya its OK

"I wish you could see your dad today too bud, I was surprised to see your dads number still worked, r u using it now?"


We texted back and forth for the next five minutes or so, mainly about about taking the phone to school and what happens when you get caught with it. I know from experience that teachers and principals do not like to see phones at school and will take them away. At my kid's school, when a phone gets taken for the second time, a parent has to come and retrieve it. Ask me how I know. E's kid goes to a catholic school, I imagine the same tough discipline is applied to him.

I determined that he (and I assume his mom) were on their way to grandpa's house to wish him a happy fathers day. As they were almost there, we signed off. E's son went about his day and I mine.

It was good to hear from E's son and I appreciate his greetings. I don't know if he struggles with father's day - many in his situation do.  I'll call his mom in the next few days and see how he is doing. As she reads this blog occasionally she may beat me to the punch. As tough as E's kid is, it won't hurt to make sure.

I'm glad I kept E's contact info and am glad E's son kept mine. Now that I know the number is still good, I'll text him periodically and see whats up.

After he starts high school, maybe I'll try texting him during school hours, just to see if I can get him in trouble with the teacher. His dad  would have gotten a kick out of that - except if would have had to meet with the principal to get it back. Then I would have gotten a kick out of THAT.

I hope your father's day was enjoyable, thanks for reading,


  1. It's good that you'll keep in touch with your friends son. Maybe even stop by in person and check on him.....?

    I lost my husband in a car wreck 8 yrs ago. I was 33 at the time. Our daughter was 10 months old - that she wasn't old enough to remember him was almost more devastating than his death. I told myself it would be ok because he had 2 brothers. The oldest was the responsible one. And she had 3 older (18, 16, & 14), 'half' siblings. Through all of us she would know her dad.

    8 yrs later - the responsible older brother no longer replies at all. We hear from her 2 sisters once or twice a year, and that's only when I initiate contact.

    People get busy, move on, or forget - even those you'd least expect it from.

    Your friends son - it might mean the world to him to talk to someone who knew/was friends with his dad.

  2. I hope you keep the blog up after you retire. Even if this stuff is made up, it's one of the realest places on the internet. Happy father's day!

  3. Cat - Sadly funny how things work out. Sometime better than we expect, sometimes not. Sad that your stepkids are out of the picture, at least for your daughter. She is the victim here.

    Joe - I try. I assure you, none of the stuff you read here is made up, at least the core events. Names, locations and details may be altered to protect the innocent and the guilty.

    This blog will still be around after I retire, though maybe in a slightly different form. There are some changes in store, that's for sure.

    Thanks for the comments.